NFL Division Betting: Good Luck Dethroning the Chiefs in the AFC West
It somehow feels like the 2020 NFL Draft was yesterday and four years ago at the same time.
With the draft that saw a record amount of money bet behind us, it's time to look forward to the upcoming season. Luckily, FanDuel Sportsbook has well north of 150 props already available for you to choose from.
With this series, I'm going to go division by division and come up with my favorite picks to take home the divisional crown -- as always, the goal is to find some value.
Here's a look at the team I'd bet on to win the AFC West.
AFC West Overview
Since 1990, 16 of the 30 Super Bowl-winning teams have finished first in their respective divisions the following season. The Kansas City Chiefs (-390) will be trying to make that 17 of 31 -- and they shouldn't have much trouble doing so.
|Team||Overall SoS||Games vs. ≥ .500||Avg. Opponent Est. NERD|
|Kansas City Chiefs||0.500||7||-0.26|
|Los Angeles Chargers||0.494||6||-0.17|
According to Brandon Gdula's schedule rankings -- where he utilizes numberFire's nERD metric in conjunction with FanDuel Sportsbook's win totals -- Kansas City has the easiest schedule in their division and ninth-easiest overall. Barring some unforeseen circumstances, the Chiefs should win their fifth consecutive division title.
The Los Angeles Chargers (+700) are the only team that comes close to sniffing the Chiefs, especially in terms of schedule. LA has a better overall strength of schedule -- based on the sportsbook's odds -- and fewer games versus teams with totals of eight or higher. That said, would anyone be willing to bet that a team quarterbacked by Tyrod Taylor and/or Justin Herbert will be able to post enough wins to surpass the Patrick Mahomes-led Chiefs? The Chargers' offensive line should make significant strides in 2020, and their defense has enough talent to be elite, but it would likely take a consequential injury for Kansas City to surrender the top spot.
John Elway and the Denver Broncos (+1100) made some moves this offseason that should have their fans titillated about the future, but they have quite a few hurdles to clear in order to secure a division title. First, Denver has the second-toughest schedule within the division and third-toughest in the entire league. They have a whopping 10 games against teams with projected win totals of eight or more. The Broncos also have a quarterback with just five starts under his belt and a talented, young receiving corps that will need time to grow. Their time might come, but I wouldn't bet on it happening now.
Jon Gruden's Las Vegas Raiders (+1200) have the second-hardest schedule in the league, per Gdula's rankings. That's a brutal way to start their tenure in Las Vegas, and it doesn't bode well for their odds of winning the division -- which is reflected in their 7.69 implied odds.
Were you expecting a team other than the Chiefs? If so, sorry to disappoint.
Kansas City's -390 odds don't excite me. Nevertheless, if I had to apply a percentage as to how confident I was in them taking home the division crown, it would be higher than their current implied odds of 79.6 percent.